#RememberingKunan: How Poshpora Was Plagued By ‘Media-Created’ Perceptions

KL NEWS NETWORK

POSHPORA/SRINAGAR

Poshpora village

The fateful night this day, 25 years ago—when Kunan was under siege, Poshpora was calm. Night in Poshpora was as peaceful as it could get.

“Though we knew that army from Trehgam has moved into Kunan, we sensed no abnormality as crackdowns and army raids were norm of the days and nights during that period,” says an elderly resident of Poshpora.

However, when tragedy was inflicted upon the village Kunan, the media reports afterwards carried the name of Poshpora along with Kunan.

In the imagination of locals and revenue records, Kunan and Poshpora are two separate villages. Until recently the twin villages were well separated, however, the expansion over the few years has reduced the gap.

Since then media have excessively covered the issue under Kunan-Poshpora tag. In the eyes of media, the residents of Poshpora village became the victim of beastly act of army, too.

“When first time media, activists come to this place to enquire about the tragedy,” a shopkeeper in Poshpora says, “they first come here. Then, we have to tell them that this is not the village you are looking for.”

In Kashmir’s societal setup, rape is associated with losing honour—as such, the villagers of Poshpora face unnecessary problems.

One such instance was two years back when a boy from Poshpora topped the Common Entrance Test, a leading local newspaper put the intro as, “Finally Kunan-Poshpora has finally something to cheer about.” Some of the people had uploaded undignified comments under the Facebook post of the newspaper.

“Sometimes when we meet a stranger and we tell him/her that we hail from Poshpora, he/she starts sympathizing and we feel a sense of victimhood,” says a college student of Poshpora. “Other times we fake the place of residence to get away with undue sympathy.”

Due to the reportage of case under Kunan-Poshpora tag, the village Poshpora has lost its separate identity.

“When I tell a stranger that I hail from Poshpora, he/she responds, you mean Kunan-Poshpora,” says another student.

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